South Carolina will pay Will Muschamp’s assistant football coaches a total of nearly $4 million in their first year with the Gamecocks, according to contracts approved Friday by the university’s Board of Trustees.
“I know that when Coach Muschamp and I sat down, it was important to him to be able to go out and hire a great staff and didn’t want to put any limitations on that,” athletics director Ray Tanner said. “While we must be fiscally responsible, we were in a situation that we could go out and get some top-notch assistants.”
Defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson ($750,000) and offensive coordinator Kurt Roper ($700,000) will be the highest-paid members of the new staff and each has a three-year contract. Defensive line coach and assistant head coach for defense Lance Thompson ($500,000) has a deal that runs through the 2017 football season. The remainder of the agreements expire on May 31, 2017 and will have to be renewed annually.
The other salaries approved Friday include: offensive line coach Shawn Elliott ($500,000), wide receivers coach and offensive co-coordinator Bryan McClendon ($450,000), special teams coordinator and linebackers coach Coleman Hutzler ($350,000), running backs coach Bobby Bentley ($300,000), outside linebackers coach Mike Peterson ($200,000), tight ends coach Pat Washington ($200,000).
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Strength and conditioning coach Jeff Dillman will be paid $400,000 annually. (Dillman is not an on-field coach and therefore doesn’t count toward the school’s staff salary.)
The Gamecocks total staff compensation of $3,950,000 is $50,000 less than the total paid to Steve Spurrier’s final staff during the 2015 season, and it would have ranked sixth in the SEC based on last year’s salary figures.
The deals also include the use of one automobile free of charge (expect for McClendon, who will receive an automobile stipend of $400 a month) and performance incentives for an SEC East title ($25,000), an SEC title ($50,000), appearance in a non-Big Six bowl game ($20,000), appearance in a College Football Playoff game ($40,000) or a College Football Playoff championship ($65,000).
Muschamp’s annual salary of $3 million makes him the lowest paid coach among public schools in the Southeastern Conference (Vanderbilt does not release salary data).
South Carolina will have additional expenses as it relates to an expanded recruiting office. The Gamecocks have hired 11 additional recruiting positions under Muschamp, Tanner said, but those salary figures were not available on Friday.
Elliott was paid an additional $60,000 for his interim head coaching position following Steve Spurrier’s retirement, Tanner said. Former assistant coaches Lorenzo Ward and Jon Hoke were the only coaches with time left on their contracts following the 2015 season and thus will be the only coaches owed severance by the Gamecocks, however that figure won’t be determined until Ward’s and Hoke’s salaries at their new positions are determined.
SEC Coaching Staff Salaries
The Gamecocks staff salary under first-year head coach Will Muschamp would have ranked sixth in the Southeastern Conference based on 2015 salary figures. Below are the combined salaries for all nine on-field assistants at each SEC school, based on research done last season by USA Today.
Auburn $5.34 million*
Texas A&M $4.42
Mississippi State $3.29
Ole Miss $3.09
*Included Will Muschamp’s $1.6 million salary as Tigers defensive coordinator
**For previous coaching staff under Mark Richt